Ryan Howard. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Phil Up - 3/11/2014 - Ryan Howard, Kevin Munson, and Jeff Manship

A collection of Phillies links. Topics include Ryan Howard, Kevin Munson, the offense, and Jeff Manship

Philly.comIn a surprise, Howard bats fifth

Over the past eight seasons, it has become an accepted fact that if Ryan Howard is healthy, he will be the Phillies’ cleanup hitter. Yesterday may have been a sign that things are changing. Marlon Byrd was batting in the fourth spot, while Howard got bumped down to fifth. Manager Ryne Sandberg said it was done to split up the lefty bats, and as far as he’s concerned, Howard is still the team’s cleanup hitter. But it will be interesting to see if it happens again.

Delco TimesMunson doesn’t have much time to show his stuff

When the Phillies selected Kevin Munson in the Rule 5 draft, they knew he was likely not ready for the major leagues. The question is: Can they afford to stash a pitcher who isn’t ready for the majors on their roster? So far, Munson’s biggest obstacle has been his command. On Saturday, he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, but walked four batters. He’ll need to improve his control if he wants to stick around.

The Zo ZoneSandberg not concerned with woeful offense

The Phillies’ poor offensive showing in exhibition games may have some people worried, but manager Ryne Sandberg is not one of them. Even after the Phillies managed one run on six hits in Monday’s loss, Sandberg thinks the Phillies’ offense will be fine once the season begins. He attributes the poor hitting to the “Spring Training atmosphere.”

MLB.comManship not distracted by opportunity at hand

Jeff Manship knows that Cole Hamels’ setback has given him an opportunity. When he signed with the Phillies in the offseason, it was mostly due to a lack of options. But as fate would have it, there now appears to be an opening in the Phillies’ rotation, and Manship wants to fill it. So far, Manship has performed well, giving up only one run in seven Spring innings. But there’s still a long way to go before that final rotation spot is decided.

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